Onions justify the butter
and an expiry date on a carton justifies the too-large omelette.
Cold air pardons another day out of the sun
when there is wine in the cupboard
and beer on the floor
and magazines thick in a folding contraption,
which may or may not count as furniture.
Children, ugly as crows,
screech and belt aggressive orders in the courtyard,
their sociopathy not yet tenderized
by the salt of articulated experience in later years,
when they might sip from a mug
and worry over the placement of words,
cringing at the shriek of little girls
who work too hard to be heard over loud boys from 14E
that chase them with stinging nettle from the alley.
They beat, hurl, push, bellow, steal, and taunt.
They want, cry, shush, run, stomp, and pinch.
Their sharp eyes hunt out opportunity
while they grab what is near in fat fists,
the wringing a reflex, until they are bored.
They must not like each other;
they are jarring and murderous,
filled with volatile unpredictability,
until their weekend man calls time to go.
They run down welded stairs
to wait in the car
where they become the distant thumps of popcorn
in a hot, oiled kettle.